Flipping on film
Campaign: Launch of Flip Video in Australia
PR agency: Text 100
Media agency: Razor and Us Sydney
There was a five-week time-frame to build buzz for the launch of Flip Video, a pocket video camera that was well-known in overseas markets, but little known in Australia. We understood that a strong digital campaign would be critical to success, as research showed the target audience’s buying preferences were heavily influenced online. Text 100 worked closely with Cisco’s Consumer Products team, media agency Razor and creative agency Us Sydney, to create an integrated campaign aligning Flip Video with ‘cool’. The campaign leveraged youth-focused digital lifestyle channels to gain the attention of 14- to 25-year-olds who loved music, sport and entertainment. The overall campaign anchor was the digital component, including an especially designed m-site, blogger engagement, Facebook and Twitter streams. In addition to these elements, Cisco needed a ‘big ticket’ tactic that would generate broad, mainstream awareness and capture the attention of the Australian public. Us Sydney came up with the idea of creating and owning a ‘flash mob’ on Bondi Beach. This viral video execution was to become the central digital tactic in the launch of Flip Video and was later rolled out as branded cinema advertising.
The campaign objectives were to:
- use digital elements to educate the market and key online influencers about Flip Video as a category leading product
- build awareness and desire for Flip Video around Christmas, and
- support retail sales and marketing through a full-service, integrated campaign.
Targets for the social media campaign were as follows:
- 10,000 hits on YouTube for a viral video
- conduct a ‘listening program’ across all social media platforms to identify appropriate social media tactics, and
- launch a Twitter stream and Facebook page to support PR elements and promote marketing campaigns.
The digital communication strategy was simple, yet focused. It hinged on raising awareness and desire for Flip Video to drive retail sales. Leveraging the immediacy of social media, the digital campaign aimed to amplify all of the key elements of the launch campaign (particularly the celebrity ambassadors) in real-time through YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Cisco’s digital properties. This allowed us to engage directly with our target youth audience and to quickly create an engaged community of fans. We employed a three-pronged strategy as follows:
- Viral video/flash mob: the pinnacle event of the Flip Video launch was the creation of a viral campaign, leveraging the staging of a ‘towel surfing’ flash mob held on Bondi Beach on Friday 30 October 2009. It was primarily designed to go viral, replacing any need for paid advertising, but was later used for local cinema advertising.
- Digital content hub: the set-up and launch of a stylised m-site designed to be the hub for news, reviews, competitions, celebrity photos and videos, and all other digital content from the campaign.
- Social media properties: to provide a vehicle for consumers to obtain information and interact with the brand locally, Facebook fan pages were set up and Twitter profiles were created in both Australia and New Zealand. These properties were enhanced by celebrity ambassadors across music, entertainment and sport, who regularly shared event details, photos, videos and blog updates about Flip Video, including competitions, launch parties, in-store signings, a skateboard event and an ‘unplugged’
The key to the successful execution of the campaign was working quickly and smartly, and ensuring good communications between the agencies and the client.
- Viral video/flash mob: Text 100 was responsible for seeding the video footage of the flash mob. The team tipped off tier one media about the event, who arrived to secretly cover the event. The video was then quickly uploaded to YouTube after the event to ensure our version of the video was the one to go viral. Text 100 then issued a press release to a broad list of traditional and social media outlets, including a video file and photography of the event.
- Online influencer targeting: this program kicked off the campaign by seeding Flip Videos with key digital influencers and celebrities, all with established online communities.
- Social media program: social media helped build strong word of mouth awareness and brand association amongst our target youth market. It comprised a ‘listening program’, a seeding program and the promotion of integrated marketing initiatives across blogs, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter, and was a crucial tool in building excitement for the arrival of Flip Video.
The successful launch of Flip Video exceeded the total metrics set by the client and has created significant brand awareness and subsequent retail sales for the products. Post-campaign analysis in December 2009 revealed combined brand awareness levels for Cisco and Flip Video at 61 percent – an impressive result for a new product and a new category. According to retail market analysts GfK, Flip Video enjoyed a 45 percent market share in 2010. Combined, the flash mob videos have been viewed over 1 million times on YouTube and, coupled with the online and traditional media coverage generated from this tactic, including broadcast, have generated more than 10,048,101 impressions globally. Most notably, on 20 June 2010 the Flip Video flash mob was rated as one of the best flash mobs of all time by leading social media and digital authority Mashable. At the 2010 Asia-Pacific PR Awards, the Flip Video Bondi Beach Flash Mob was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for Best Use of Digital and the launch campaign as a whole was a category winner for Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year.